Inexcusable Absence: Why 60 Million Girls Still Aren't in School and What to do About It (Brief)

Remarkable increases in primary schooling over the past decade have brought gender equity to the education systems of many poor countries. But as CGD non-resident fellow Maureen Lewis and visiting fellow Marlaine Lockheed show in this CGD brief, nearly three-quarters of the 60 million girls still not in school belong to ethnic, religious, linguistic, racial or other minorities. Based on their new book, Inexcusable Absence: Why 60 Million Girls Still Aren’t in School and What to do About It, this brief presents key findings from their research and suggests practical policy solutions to achieve universal primary education for girls and boys. Specifically,

  • strategies to make education more responsive to the needs of marginalized populations must be developed and carefully tested and
  • the UNESCO Institute for Statistics should report school participation and achievement data disaggregated by gender and by ethnic/linguistic group, to make it possible to identify the role of social exclusion.

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